Sunday, 20 October 2013

Flódni / Apple, poppy seed and walnut pastry

Baked goods are quite popular in Hungary if it contains walnut, poppy seed or apple, never mind if all three are on the ingredient list. The other good thing about this pastry that you first have to assemble it and then bake it, so although it has 4 layers it doesn't require to bake 4 separate layers. The recipe also stated that you have to put in 300 ml white wine, but you can't really taste it in the end- I think it is more for the texture, consistency than for the taste.

Flódni / Apple, poppy seed and walnut pastry

For the pasty:
500 g plain flour
250 g butter on room temperature
100 g icing sugar
3 egg yolk
100 ml white wine
For the apple filling
800g sharp apple
2 tbsp honey
lemon to taste (approx. 1/2 - 1 lemon)
cinnamon and ground cloves to taste
For the poppy seed filling
200 g ground poppy seed
100 g sugar
50 g sultana / currant
100 ml white wine
For the walnut filling
120 g ground walnut
80 g chopped walnut
100 g sugar
50 g sultana / currant
100 ml white wine
egg wash
Preheat the oven to 170C and line a 19X25cm rectangle pan - leave the baking paper longer on the sides, so after baking you can lift out the pastry.
Rub the butter into the flour, add in the eggs, sugar and white wine. Form a dough then wrap it in cling film and rest it in the fridge until you prepare the fillings.
Peel  and core the apples then grate them. Add in the honey, lemon juice, cinnamon and cloves to taste.
Mix the grated poppy seed with the sugar and sultanas. Heat 100ml white wine to boiling point and pour it on top the poppy seed mix.
Mix the grated walnut with the chopped walnut sugar and sultanas. Heat 100ml white wine to boiling point and pour it on top the walnut mix.
Divide the pastry to 4 equal parts and on a floured surface and roll out  to the size of the pan. Put one pasty layer it into the tin and top it with the poppy seed filling.
Level the poppy seed filling and top it with another pastry layer, then walnut filling, pastry, apple filling and finish it off with a pastry layer. Prick the top of the pastry with a fork and brush it with egg wash.

Bake it in the oven for 60-70 minutes or until it has a nice golden colour.
When it is completely cooled, lift out from the pan (or if you manage to rip off all the baking sheet like me, just put a chopping board on top- turn it up side down, than another board on it and flip it back. It is quite a sturdy bake so it will keep its shape).
Slice it and serve it with icing sugar and a whole walnut piece for decoration if you like.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Somloi Sponge Cake - Somlói Galuska

This is a traditional Hungarian recipe and my husband's favourite. It is quite simple to make, but time consuming, so I only treat him to this on his birthdays. It basically consists of 3 layers of sponge(walnut, chocolate, vanilla) soaked with rum, layered with vanilla cream and grated walnut, served with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Yeah you got the idea, it is really rich, but soft and refreshing dessert. There is no set of shape how to serve, so please excuse my presentation.
Somloi Sponge Cake - Somlói Galuska

For the sponge
6 eggs
6 tbsp granulated sugar
6 tbsp plain flour
2-3 tbsp grated walnut
1 heaped tbsp shifted cocoa
For the soaking liquid
zest of 1 lemon
100g sultanas/currants (or some more if you like)
100g granulated sugar
200ml water
3-6 tbsp Rum
For the vanilla cream
3 eggs
80g sugar
2 pack of vanilla pudding powder *check Tricks and Recommendations for this ingredients
seeds of 1 vanilla pod
800ml milk
Sprinkle ingredients
100-200g grated walnut -depends on your taste
cocoa powder
For Serving
dark chocolate
double cream
whipped cream 
I only had a 19X25cm rectangle tin therefore I had to add some extra height (with the help of some plastic sheets and baking paper). So if you have a slightly bigger baking tin that would be an advantage:)
Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare the tin with baking paper.
For the fat less sponge separate the eggs and whip the egg whites with an electric mixer to hard peaks with a pinch of salt. Without stopping the electric mixer add gradually the egg yolks and sugar. With a silicone spatula very carefully fold in the shifted flour in two batches.
If you mix it too hard you knock out all air you built in with the electric mixer.

When it is done divide the mixture to 3 equal parts. The first plain sponge can go straight to the pan, bake it for 8-10 minutes until it has a nice colour.
In the meantime fold the grated walnut to one sponge mix and the cocoa to the other. Bake both after each other for 8-10 minutes then leave them to cool on a cake rack.
For the soaking liquid heat the sugar and water together to boiling point. Take off from the heat, add the currants and lemon zest. When it is room temperature add some rum to taste (if you add the rum while the syrup is hot the alcohol will evaporate-and we don't want that:)).

For the vanilla cream mix the yolks, sugar, vanilla seeds and pudding powder in a bowl with 100 ml milk to get lump free mixture. Place the remaining of the milk in a heavy based pan above medium heat. When the milk is about to boil add in the sugary mix and keep whisking until it reaches a thick custard like consistency. Take off from the heat and whip the egg whites in a separate bowl to hard peaks. Fold the egg whites into the vanilla cream (not all in one go)- this lightens the cream and add some extra volume to it.

Now you can start assemble the dessert:
There are 3 layers, so use roughly 1/3 of each ingredient. Sometimes I have some left over vanilla cream or soaking liquid.....well it was never wasted (at this point you can see my DIY height solution is needed)
-walnut sponge->soaking liquid with the currants->grated walnut->vanilla cream
-chocolate sponge->soaking liquid with the currants->grated walnut->vanilla cream
-vanilla sponge->soaking liquid with the currants->grated walnut->vanilla cream
 -finish it with cocoa powder on top
Place it into the fridge for overnight so all layers can absorb the syrup.
To serve, cut some reasonable sized slices, pour "some" chocolate sauce around it (add the dark chocolate to warm double cream- sorry I don't have a recipe for this, it is pretty straightforward) and add some whipped cream on top. Enjoy!!!!


Baked Lemon Cheesecake

I always wanted to make a baked cheesecake, so when we invited some guests the last time the time was right. As the dinner was quite heavy, I wanted something light and delicate. Well it isn't the lightest dessert, but it tasted divine (also it is quite easy to make). I found a recipe on the BBC Goodfood website, but I slightly had to modify it to my taste.

Baked Lemon Cheesecake

260g digestive biscuit
120g melted butter
600g light soft cheese/cream cheese
250g mascarpone
2egg yolks
zest of 4 lemons
juice of 2.5 lemons
4 tbsp flour
150g caster sugar
few spoonful of cream fresh/soured cream
few spoonful of lemon curd
handful of blueberries
Heat the oven to 180C and line the bottom of a 23cm spring form tin with baking paper. Crush the biscuits to crumbs and work it together with the melted butter. Press the biscuit paste into the bottom of the pan and place it to the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Whisk all the other ingredients in a large bowl until completely combined, pour into the tin, then bake for 35-40 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the cake inside until cool.
 When it is completely cooled remove from the tin and top with cream fresh, lemon curd and blueberries if you like. You can keep the cake in the fridge if you want a cold dessert summer time.